Latest Travel Updates Due to Coronavirus

travel updates due to coronavirus

Green List of countries revised: Cyprus and Malta are no longer on the Green list.  See all the latest travel updates below.

 

I will be updating this post regularly with travel updates due to coronavirus, so bookmark it and make it your go-to post for the latest travel information. If you have queries in relation to airline refunds and vouchers,  these posts might also be of interest:

How to get a refund if your flight is cancelled

 
 
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4th August 2020. Green List countries revised list

The government revised the list of  ‘Green List’ of countries that will allow people travel to without having to self-isolate on their return. Malta and Cyprus, Gibraltar, Monaco and San Marino, were on the original list that was published on the 21st of July, but have been removed today, 4th August. 

The full list is as follows and will be reviewed every two weeks:

 

Italy, Greece, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia,  Estonia, Greenland, Norway, Hungary, Finland.

 

The government travel advice against non-essential travel does not apply to these countries, instead ‘normal precautions’, apply. The change in travel advice means that travel insurance should cover you for travel to these Green List countries, as long as the country you are due to travel to is on the Green List when you depart Ireland.
 

 

 
Multitrip.com have already confirmed that they will cover cancellation as a result of positive Covid-19 diagnosis and cover medical expenses abroad resulting from Covid-19. This will be added to new and existing policies.  

Read: Covid-19 travel insurance cover confirmed for Green List countries.
 

 

 
However as the Green List is updated every two weeks it is possible that you can travel to a ‘Green List’ country with the understanding that you don’t have to quarantine on your return, only to find out that this country has been removed from the list, and quarantine will apply.
 

 

 
This list is calculated on the ECDC rates of cases of Covid-19 per per 100,000 of population. Currently Ireland’s rate is 9.0 (at 4th August), and the green list of countries will allow us to travel to countries with similar or lower cases to Ireland. This website is a handy source to have, it shows you the number of Covid-19 cases in each European country, and may be useful if you wish plan overseas to a country with a low infection rate. Malta’s case rate has increased to 26.7 per 100,000 of population, Cyprus rate has increased to 13.4.

Read: Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

 

 

What if you don’t want to travel?

If you do you wish to travel, but your flight is operating, you are not entitled to a refund, regardless of your health situation. You should be able to change your travel dates, but if you cancel because you do not want to fly, that is seen as your own personal decision and no refund will be due.
 

 

 
Ryanair announced that cancellations up to end of July have been processed and all passengers notified. Therefore if you have not received any notification that your flight is cancelled, it is more than likely operating. They are currently NOT waiving change fees for existing bookings, so if you choose to change dates, you will have to pay the appropriate change fees. You may have seen an announcement made by Ryanair that they are waiving change fees, but this is only for NEW bookings made from 10th June, for travel during July, August and September. 

cancelled flights

Aer Lingus have also confirmed a reduced schedule for July and August. However, if you do not wish to travel, you can change your dates without paying change fees for all departures up to 31st December. 
 

 

 
If the government advice is still in place against non-essential travel to the destination that you are due to travel to, then you may be able to claim on your travel insurance. You will need to have had a policy taken out with travel disruption cover or government advice, before the advice came into effect. 
 

 

 

Face masks are mandatory with most airlines:

Like many airlines, Aer Lingus and Ryanair have confirmed that face masks are now mandatory. While social distancing is not possible on board aircrafts, there will be extra distancing measures in place in airports, and in-flight services will be reduced. See more on Ryanair’s video here:
 

 

 

Cruise lines & Tour Operators latest updates:

  • MSC has cancelled all sailings for UK & Ireland residents until 31st October. They will have a reduced number of ships in both the East and West Mediterranean from 15th August for Schengen residents only, (not UK or Ireland passengers).  Guests booked on a summer cruise can, up until 31st October, take advantage of the MSC Cruises’ Flexible Cruise Programme which allows guests to reschedule their cruise to a future departure date through to 31 December 2021. Guests affected by cancellations will receive a Future Cruise Credit of the value of 125%. If you are not in a position to take a Future Cruise credit, MSC Cruises will refund 100% of the balance paid on Cruise only and Fly Cruises.
  • Princess Cruises cancel all operations until the 15th December. Passengers can request a full refund or receive 125% cruise credit.
  • Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Azamara and Silversea have cancelled most sailings until 31st October. Passengers can request a full refund, a 125% cruise credit or can change existing cruise to 2021 at the same cost – see more here.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line have cancelled all sailings until 31st October. Passengers can request a full refund or receive 125% or 150% cruise credit, depending on departure date. Cruise credit is valid until December 2022.
  • TUI has cancelled all holidays until 9th August. You can amend all holidays up to the 31st August free of charge, but fare differences will apply. Their customer service teams are working from home and they are asking that you don’t call or message them unless it is urgent. They will be in touch with you to discuss your options. See more here.

 

 

 

Refunds and Vouchers:

Many airlines are offering vouchers instead of refunds and there has been a lot of confusion across the travel industry. The Irish government has recently backed a new refund credit note that can be used by travel agents and tour operators to give to customers instead of a refund – note this is not applicable to airlines. These credit notes will be guaranteed by the state in the event that the travel agent or tour operator ceases trading. It will be issued with a future redeemable date, and on that date it can be exchanged for its cash, or can be used to book another holiday. According to Shane Ross, ‘the refund credit note aims to strike a balance between preventing sector-wide bankruptcy (with associated immediate job losses) and consumer rights.’

 

 

 
 While Ryanair and Aer Lingus are ‘officially’ offering refunds for cancelled flights, they are actively trying to get passengers to accept vouchers or change their departure dates. Other travel companies are not offering refunds at all. I have full list of my most popular questions answered, and the links to apply for refunds in these posts:

Latest travel updates on refunds and vouchers here.

How to get a refund if your flight is cancelled

 

 

Aer Lingus allow passengers due to travel before 30th September to change their travel dates.

If you are due to travel on an Aer Lingus flight before the 30th September, you can change your travel date free of charge. If the flight you choose is a higher value, the fare difference will apply.
 

 

 

 

Ryanair ask customers to accept vouchers and suggest refunds will be given when Covid-19 crisis is over.

There is a lot of confusion over Ryanair’s latest emails in relation to refunds. They have asked customers to accept vouchers instead of refunds and have confirmed that they will offer a refund after the expiry date of the voucher, if the voucher has not been used. They have also stated that if you don’t want to accept a voucher you can apply for refund.
 

 

 

Latest statement from Ryanair, 6th May 2020

  • The processing time for cash refunds is taking far longer than normal as we are processing over 1,000 times the normal volume of cancellations. We also have 75% fewer staff available to process refunds due to social distancing restrictions.
  • Ryanair is offering vouchers and free moves as these are automated and give customers an immediate alternative. Unfortunately, cash refunds cannot be automated. Customers who choose a voucher, but don’t redeem it within 12 months may still apply for and obtain a refund after this 12 month period.
  • Customers who choose not to accept a free move or voucher will receive their refund in due course, once this crisis has passed. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be working hard to process refund requests as quickly as we can. 
  • We sincerely apologise for these unavoidable refund delays which are due to the unprecedented volume of Govt. imposed flight cancellations and we sincerely thank customers for their patience.

 

 

 
These emails are being sent individually so if you have not received one yet, it should come in due course. However if you have already applied for a refund, you do not need to re apply, Ryanair have stated that you are already in the ‘refund queue’. If you do not want to accept a voucher and have not yet applied for a refund, you can do this by using this link . They are also accepting messages via Facebook.

Latest travel updates on refunds and vouchers here.
 

 

 

Advice against non-essential travel to ALL overseas destinations.

The government is advising against all non-essential travel overseas. This includes Great Britain, but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all cruise ship travel. As well as our own advice against non-essential travel there are numerous flight bans in place across the globe where tourists will be refused entry. Check the latest travel advice on the Department of Foreign Affairs website

See more here
 

 

Qatar Airways offer more flexibility on new and existing bookings.

Qatar Airways is one of the few airlines that is still operating flights into Dublin Airport. It is the most direct route for Irish travellers who are currently looking to come home from Asia or Australasia.

Qatar Airways also offers flexibility to their customers for new or existing bookings. Customers can change their travel date free of charge, choose to receive a travel voucher for the full unutilised value of their ticket plus an additional 10 percent of the fare cost, or apply for a refund, which will take up to 30 days to process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
British Airways and Etihad Airways announce flexible booking arrangements.

British Airways are allowing all passengers to change to a new flight with no change fee or exchange their ticket for a credit worth the full value of the original ticket.

 

 

 
Etihad Airways is allowing all passengers due to travel before 30th June the opportunity to change the date or destination of their flight free of charge, use the value of your ticket as credit towards future trips or request a refund if you are due to travel on a route that has an extended period of cancellation.
 

 

 

G Adventures suspends all tours until 31st July.

Any traveller booked on a tour departing before the 31st of May will be eligible for a 110% travel credit of all land services, including pre or post nights and transfers, which can be used on any tour departing within the next two years.
 

 

US bans travel from Europe including UK & Ireland.

President Donald Trump has amended the US travel ban to include Ireland and UK effective midnight 16th March.The ban applies to anyone who has been in Europe within 14 days prior to their arrival in the US. This does not apply to US citizens, however they will have to undergo health screenings on arrival.
 

 

 

Travel Insurance to exclude Covid-19 for new policies issued. 

With effect from 6pm on Monday 16th March 2020, a general exclusion for Covid-19 (Coronavirus) will apply to all new Blue Insurance travel insurance policies issued by travel agencies. This general exclusion will apply to all sections of the policy document. It is likely that all insurance companies will follow suit. Schedule Airline Failure and Third Party Supplier Insolvency will also be temporarily withdrawn. 

Coronavirus: What travel insurance covers:

 

Book Insurance Here
 

 

 

Note: This post is being updated constantly but travel advice and updates are changing on a daily basis. It is important to check with the company / airline you are booking with before taking any steps to cancel or travel abroad.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.

 

 

Other related posts on the blog:

Coronavirus: What travel insurance covers:

Why you need to add travel disruption cover to your travel insurance policy

 
Like travel tips? See more here.
 

 
Sarah

The Travel Expert
 

 

 

2 Comments

  • Hi sarah, i wish to travel to the uk in july but i am still awaiting my voucher from aerlingus..have contacted them a few times but still no sign of voucher..can you please advise me regarding this?regards,christine lee.

    • Hi Christine, Unfortunately many are in the same boat, Im waiting for my own voucher too, it seems to be taking over three months to arrive. Best of luck. Sarah

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